Friday, September 4, 2015

Nursery Garden

I think it is fun and rewarding to try something new in the garden each year. Sometimes it is a different type of configuration, such as when we added more wooden raised beds. Usually it is as simple as trying new varieties of our favorite vegetables. But this year I used two of the veggie beds as "nurseries" for some flowers. I started lots of plants from seed, and most were ready to go into the ground from the greenhouse at the proper time. But a few flowers, both perennials and annuals, were started kind of late and were not really big enough to put into my already crowed garden borders. So when the weather warmed up and got too hot in the greenhouse I put them out in two vegetable beds to continue growing.

Most of the perennials were ones I was already familiar with such as red valarian, English daisies, and hollyhocks. But there were some annuals that I had never grown before and it was nice to get an idea of how they grew before adding them to the borders. The plain pink malvas were way too floppy and I won't grow those again. But the tall ageratum and annual asters were perfect! I will definitely plant these again. I've heard that those tall ageratums are good self sowers. I wouldn't mind having them all over the gardens:)

With the heat and lack of rain this past month, the yard is looking a little run down. But most of the flowering is over any way and it will be time to cut things back soon. Rick and I will be going on a little road trip soon and when we come home I think I will be ready for fall. How about you? Ready for the pumpkins and gourds?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our New Water Feature

Williamsport, IN

No, not that! LOL! This one:

It took awhile, but Rick finally got it done. He just wasn't sure how he wanted to do the rocks. But I think he did a great job. We had to buy a new pump and filter so we could get the kind of flow and sound that we wanted. It is just like being in the woods along a creek. I love it!

There are several more places to put plants, but I will work on that in the spring. (I don't like moving perennials in the summer.) I am going to put more irises along the back, add a climbing rose on the back of the garage, and also window boxes. Check back next spring!

Our old cat Sam (short for Samantha - 17 years old) now has a favorite spot when she's outside. She lies here most of the day. She must like the heat of the rock.

We have been having really great weather here lately. Sunny, not too hot or humid. I've been getting more weeding done and the yard is looking pretty good. We could use a little rain, but considering California's situation, I'm not going to complain:)

Sweet fat cat Loyal.

I hope everyone  has a good weekend. We are going canoeing. Yeah!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Small Sewing Projects

Sometimes, when I'm working on a big quilt, I need to take a break and make a small, quick project. Or in this case, several. Ah, instant gratification!

First is a little needlebook made from a tutorial from ASpoonful of Sugar. I had just bought a few fat quarters of this pretty fabric and thought it would be perfect for this.

Another needlebook, this time in linen and some Lynette Anderson fabric. I guess I was in the mood to make hexagons:) I got the patch idea from Amy at nanaCompany.

And speaking of Amy, I just love her new book Sweetly Stitched Handmades. As soon as I got it, I made this cute hot pad.

I think it is too pretty to actually put gooey hot pans on, don't you? For now I just have it on the kitchen counter to admire when I walk by.

Can you believe it's August already? School will be starting soon. But guess what? I'm not going back! At least not this year. I feel the need to be close to home, able to help out my family when they need me, doing the homemaking things I love, and taking care of the paperwork for my husband's business. I will also be taking some time to rest and recoup. Sometimes we just need to step back, slow down, and take a breath. Make sure you take the time for yourself too!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tad is 4!

A couple of weeks ago, Tad turned 4. Can you believe it? He's such a big boy and so sweet. (And when he says, "I love you, Grandma", my heart just melts:) He had a pirate themed party with family and friends. Andrew did some great cooking, and Alison made a ship cake, treats and decorated the house. She is so creative! Everything was so cute.

We knew Tad really didn't need anymore toys, so Rick made him a picnic table just his size. He had made one when Andrew and his brothers were little and we got a lot of use out of it. I'm sure Tad and the twins will too. (I want Rick to make another one for our yard. The old one is long gone:)

The twins will be celebrating their 1st birthday next month. I can't wait to see what kind of party Alison comes up with for them!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back Porch Redo

Back in June of 2011 I did a post about our screened-in back porch. It has basically been the same since we added it on to the house in 1997.

We liked it, except for that tile which has driven me crazy since day one. We chose unglazed tile because it looked so good in the store, but in reality it was not a good choice for a floor exposed to the elements. It stained easily and every year we had to strip and retreat it. Arrrr... I was done!

So we chose a pretty ceramic tile in a mottled cream. Rick did the install.(We thought about having it done, but do you know how hard it is to get a good installer? I've got one right here:) Anyway, after he put it in we just had to continue with a redecoration. And this is how it turned out:

After A LOT of painting we love how it turned out! It is brighter and cleaner looking. I still have those old cushions,but I plan on replacing those next year when there are more choices in the stores. Though I might look online to get something more to my liking.

In other news, my hubby is recuperating from skin cancer surgery. The surgeon took out an extra big chunk to get it all, so it's more than a little painful. But I think he is feeling better because he is getting restless and ready to get back to work. Good news, I'd say!

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Garden This Week

I usually say that June is the best month for our gardens. But this year it looks like July will be. We had a very wet and mostly cool June and some flowers held off blooming. But, oh my, the yard is bright with monarda, lilies, roses, coneflower and many others. Here are a few examples:

A different view of the garden border looking toward the house.

The west side of the shed, in shade, but full of color.
I have no idea what this lily's name is, but the yellow flower in there is basket flower, a perennial variety of centaurea (bachelor button.)

Tiger Lily

Sitting area near the pond.

Part of the herb garden. Gotta love larkspur and calendula for easy color!

The newest bed in the side yard. I think I will move those monarda -  too tall for this spot.

Even though we have many garden beds, and can be a lot of work in the spring, right now it's not too bad. I try to get to the weeds early in the season, so that by midsummer I just have to go through each bed every other week or so. And I usually like to do the weeding. It can be relaxing. Though I have to say that the mosquitoes are driving us crazy right now, so doing anything in the yard takes preparation (bug spray, long sleeves, etc.) Yuck! Not so relaxing:)

I hope everyone had a great 4th! We had a wonderful party with friends and family. Lots of swimming, eating, and laughing. But I just wasn't taking pictures. Too busy having a good time, I guess!

Monday, June 29, 2015

No So Lazy Summer

Well, this has not been a lazy summer, at least not yet. I keep coming up with projects for the house and yard. And I can't just do them myself. I say, "I've got an idea." And my husband says, "What now." But really, he is usually happy to indulge me and comes up with pretty good ideas of his own. I will be sharing the two big projects soon.

This has been my evening work for many weeks now. The plates are made from scraps and I love how it turned out. Though it will be quite awhile before I'm done quilting it.

Up until a few days ago, doing any kind of needlework was difficult with our foster kitty, Bolt, around. He would jump, bat, bite, etc. any time I moved my hand. Thankfully he is settling down a little. And we have gotten very creative finding things around the house for him to play with besides my thread and yarn. His favorite is a thread spool. I wonder why?